Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
What can I say to express the fact that these people are literally insane, retarded, evil, out of touch with reality, or all of the above? The meanings of those terms are so diluted from overuse - even the term literally doesn't mean literally anymore - that they have no real meaning. Try, just for a moment, to understand that I mean them exactly in the way the dictionaries would have them.
Billy points us to another example for which there is simply no rational explanation. A school district in Detroit built two schools celebrated for their "green" qualities. These schools are hailed as marvels because they use 20% less energy. But they don't serve their purpose, they can't be used as schools, at least not on warm days, and so today they sit empty.
I can build something in the next 5 minutes that uses 100% less energy than any school out there. Like, a pile of rocks. But that wouldn't be a school, now would it? No more than these buildings plopped down in the middle of some Detroit parking lot are schools. Sure, they use less energy, but that's only because they don't do things that require energy, things like keeping the temperature inside livable, that are, by the District's admission, necessary for them to be a functional school.
It's astounding that such complete absence of thought, of principle, integrity, and simple common sense can be out there for everyone to see, yet most people choose not to see them, to put them off to good intentions, bad judgement, or even corruption - as if empty good intentions, bad judgement, and corruption are simply meaningless eccentricities.
It's not a mistake, it's a concious decision to choose form over the function. But if you're going to do that, what is the purpose of making it in the first place, in any form? Is anyone out there capable of judgement anymore?
Hello... Hello... Anyone?
Friday, May 26, 2006
OK, it is pretty entertaining to hear about some of the most powerful people in the world being laid low by a backfire. (I wonder, did the real-life Manchurian Candidate suffer flashbacks and dive to the floor, frantically scanning the room for Charlie?). And, it's great news that a third or so of the House was rendered ineffective for a day, but I'm sure they'll get caught up soon.
They didn't even wait for evidence that there was actually gunfire, or even independent confirmation. They simply accepted some random report from some unknown somebody about something that might be a gun, and ran for their lives - because of course a Gun is the most powerful, irresistable force in the universe, and simply being in the same building with one means imminent, unavoidable death and disfigurment.
The only injury was not a gunshot wound, but some staffer who collapsed from a panic attack. A goddamn panic attack, over phantom gunfire that she didn't even hear herself. This is what y'all have put in charge of this country? No wonder they don't trust any of you to defend yourselves, they're so afraid of their own shadows that they run screaming like little girls over a rumor of gunfire someplace in the general vicinity.
Congressional staffs were told to lock themselves in their offices and not to open the door for anyone who didn't give the secret password. And it would appear that they all timidly obeyed, though probably in part because it was too embarrassing to go out in public after pissing themselves.
Now, these were gummint folks, so it's not surprising that they, being among the lowest forms of life on the planet, are lacking in all human self-respect and dignity, not to mention self-preservation instincts. They aren't interested in self-preservation, they prefer to leave their preservation up to others. Did any one of them even have the common decency to grab so much as a pistol out of a desk drawer and vow that nobody without the password will get through that door without a few fresh holes in them? Yeah, right. Even the thought of lifting a finger to defend themselves would make them no better than the psychotic madman running around the building with a g-g-guunn!
No, instead, they immediately turn into sheep when they get a little frightened and men with guns and badges start giving orders. These people look at the world and all they see are things to be afraid of. Is it any wonder that they expect everyone to be just like they are, or else they're a threat? Is it any wonder that when they are given such enormous power that they will use it to try to make the rest of us just like they are? Should any self-respecting human being voluntarily let himself be ruled by people who look out on life from under a desk?
UPDATE It gets worse. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.): "I have no confirmation of gunfire. We have confirmation of a loud noise,". A loud noise. That's all it takes to spread terror across a city.
They not only shut down the capitol, but the surrounding schools. Whole swaths of a major city shut down because maybe there was a gun around somewhere.
a spokeswoman for the school system said. School officials wanted to err on the side of cautionIt's not just that they "wanted" to, it's that erring on the side of caution has become the guiding principle of this country. A final quote sums up nicely the future we face under such a principle:
Finally, at about 2:45 p.m., SWAT officers entered [Representative Hoekstra's] hearing room. "Hands on your head," they said, and everyone did just that.
Friday, May 19, 2006
As to the outrage, well, you know what they say. "One death is a tragedy, a thousand deaths is a statistic." So, outrage noted. Next.
Outrage always carries with it an element of surprise, and a sense that something goes against the accepted order of things. But there is no surprise here, and this is the accepted order of things, these days. "Accepted" being the key phrase, and fertile ground for introspection for anyone who really gives a damn.
Billy, as usual, gets to the deeper meaning of all this:
the entire nature of the job today means that all the wrong people are attracted to becoming cops.That's what's really important to take away from this. That there are causes of such things, and those causes can be identified, explained, analyzed, and thus potentially remedied.
It's a necessary start, but it it's just a start. These causes are in themselves caused. And those causes caused in turn. Is it turtles all the way down? No, but there's a mighty tall stack that needs to be turned over one by one so their dark underbellies can be examined. Stop anywhere short of the base turtle, and they will just restack themselves faster than anyone can counter, or even count, let alone keep up with the demands on one's capacity for outrage.
Billy, I, and many others have put a lot of thought into traversing that stack, and there's some valid identifications of some very low level turtles that have come out of it. But there's still work to be done.
At some point it'll be found. I just hope to be around long enough to join some friends in a steaming bowl of turtle soup.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I recently heard of an acquaintance who lost 30,000 books in a house fire. Short of losing a loved one or an important body part, this is one of the worst tragedies I can imagine. A house can be replaced, but all those books? I tell ya, if there was a fire here, the first, and maybe only things, I'd go back in for would be the data from my computers and the books. And the data can wait. Billy, you got a halon system for that library?
Another interesting tidbit, I used to spend a lot of time doing research in the downtown Chicago library. They had a rule there that the bums that came into the library to get out of the cold and catch a few Z's could not loiter there without actually using the library for it's intended purpose. So what did the bums do? They would take a book to their chairs or tables and snooze with the book in front of them, just for appearances, and often held upside down. Now, me, I have nothing but time and no responsibilities, and I'd be in heaven to be in such a place. But them? To them the books were nothing but props, worthless objects used as a talisman to protect them from being booted. That's why they're bums, and will always be bums.